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"Can long term Klonopin use affect thyroid functioning and/or levels?"
I recently had blood work done with a low TSH level
Klonopin, or clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine. This is a class of medications that act at GABA receptors, which are receptors in the brain acted on by neurotransmitters, or hormone signals. There are several disorders for which it is commonly prescribed, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and others. If you are taking long-term klonopin, it is important that you are followed closely by either a psychiatrist, or a primary care physician who is comfortable and knowledgable prescribing such medications. One of the most serious adverse effects associated with klonopin, and all benzodiazepines, is the risk of seizure if someone suddenly stops taking the medication without tapering off of the medication. Impairments in thyroid function is not a common or frequently reported side effect of klonopin use. Klonopin can however cause some of the symptoms associated with thyroid dysfunction, such as fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, hair loss or changes, abnormalities in menstruation. A TSH that is lower than the reference range can be caused by an overactive thyroid gland, however this diagnosis requires additional laboratory evaluation, including a T4 level at the minimum. There are several causes of hyperthyroidism, including an overactive thyroid nodule, a condition called Graves disease, and others, and the treatment depends on the diagnosis. If your TSH returned low, it is important that you follow-up with your doctor to complete your thyroid evaluation.
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